izhilzha (izhilzha) wrote,

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Another gem from Jane Espenson's blog

Although Wilson is a Best Friend, He is Not Also A VolleyBall

That probably needs some translating. :-) It's a post about teasers/cold opens for your spec script, and why it might be a good idea (or not) to shake up the formula a bit. Jane uses House as her example, and the test case she gives made me all squeeish.

On a procedural like House or CSI, there's a particular type of teaser that is normally used. The case (criminal or medical) has some sort of mysterious or startling lead-in, which will introduce the way in which our characters enter the story to solve it.

But because we're writing specs, we can get away with doing the sort of thing that the show can only do once in a while: kick off a teaser with one of the main characters already present or involved, for instance.

Interestingly, I'm doing both in my CSI spec. Yes, it's a traditional teaser, with a few moments of leading-up-to-dead-body, the arrival of the CSIs, etc....and then it takes an abrupt turn into the personal, as Sara falls victim to a contaminant at the scene. Both worlds, if I do it right: the solid familiarity of a "proper" CSI cold open, and the personal jolt of one of the CSIs in physical danger. (Other than "Grave Danger," I don't recall any episode that has ended the teaser with a CSI damaged or in mortal peril.)

Anyway, that made me happy.

Everyone who writes or is trying to write spec scripts should be reading Jane's blog.
Tags: csi, house, jane espenson, spec, tv, writing

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